Office building exterior and infrared thermograph

Building Technology and Urban Systems Division

In the areas of Building Technology and Urban Systems (BTUS), ETA researchers conduct R&D and develop physical and information technologies to make buildings and urban areas more energy- and resource-efficient. These technologies create jobs and products for the marketplace in clean technology industries. They improve quality of life, and reduce the emissions of pollutants, including climate-altering greenhouse gases.

BTUS’s goal is to provide the technologies needed to operate buildings at 50 to 70 percent less energy use than average today.

BTUS develops, demonstrates and deploys:

  • Information technologies for the real-time monitoring and control of buildings and facilities for improved energy efficiency and quality of life;
  • Advanced lighting, and windows and daylighting systems;
  • Software for energy-efficient building modeling, design and operation;
  • Technologies and design practice for efficient high-technology buildings;
  • Commercial and residential building technologies;
  • Technical assistance to federal, state, and local governments in efficient buildings.

Commercial building systems research explores methods to ensure that building technologies are integrated for low-energy performance.  The researchers develop benchmarking, measurement and energy information systems, as well as commissioning tools, guides, and evaluations of advanced building systems.

Electronics, Lighting, and Networks researchers are dedicated to understanding the energy implications of electronics, lighting, and networks, and saving energy by advancing the development of  these technologies. 

Some of the largest energy users in today’s economy are high tech buildings and industrial systems. The High Tech and Industrial Systems researchers work to improve the energy efficiency of both through the application of energy management and advanced technologies.

Residential Building Systems researchers work on problems associated with whole- building integration involving modeling, measurement, design and operation. Most of their tasks have focused on the movement of air and the associated energy penalties.

Simulation Research researchers specialize in the research, development and deployment of software that support the design and operation of buildings, as well as the research of next-generation building energy and control systems.

Sustainable Federal Operations (SFO) supports the implementation of sustainable policies and practices in the public sector.

Windows and Envelope Materials researchers develop energy-efficient window systems, and studies advanced daylighting designs, which allow the use of natural light in place of electric lighting.